My favorite things Arizona

by on March 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm in The Arts | Permalink

There is Barbara Eden and Linda Ronstadt but what other directions can I find?  I’ll try not to resort to retirees, such as Joe Garagiola.  Here goes:

1. Jazz: Charles Mingus’s Ah Um is one of the ten jazz albums that everyone should own.

2. Country and Western: Marty Robbins is good but otherwise I draw a blank.

3. Movie director: Steven Spielberg.  In case you don’t already know them, Duel and Sugarland Express are two of his best movies.  I’m also an advocate of Artificial Intelligence, a brilliant movie about the moral superficiality of human beings.  E.T. was his nadir.

4. Real business cycle theorist: Ed Prescott teaches at Arizona State (which by the way  was just rated as having the hottest students of any school).  If you think through his oeuvre, Prescott has at least three major contributions: time consistency (1977 with Kydland), real business cycle theory, and his work on the equity premium with Mehra.  That’s impressive.

5. Painter and European emigre: Max Ernst lived for twelve years in Sedona.

6. Textiles: Navajo blankets from the 1880-1910 period rank among America’s greatest artistic contributions.  You can buy a first-rate piece for no more than $60,000.

7. Author: Zane Grey fits the category but he doesn’t count as a favorite.  Am I missing anyone important or is this simply not a literary state?

8. Movie, set in:  You have some real winners, including Psycho, Raising Arizona, and the still underrated Tombstone3:10 to Yuma I haven’t seen yet.

The bottom line: The list is spotty in parts but the peaks are very high.  I’m also of the opinion that the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon is the single best sight I’ve seen, ever.  I also love The Biltmore Hotel but alas I am not at that particular lodging right now…

1 Craig March 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

First link (no money for MR 🙁 ):


Marty Robbins (?):


2 J. March 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm

If you happen to go to Tucson, find the rattiest looking taco stand you can, and eat there. (Sort of like your rule for cajun.)

3 Seth March 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I’m drawing a blank on literature too. Recently, Stephanie Meyer has become quite popular with her Twilight series. There are some other local writers that I like, but I wouldn’t consider them a big name in the literary world.

Buck Owens I thought would have made the list. Also Stevie Nicks and Alice Cooper.

Barry Goldwater and Sandra Day O’Conner are also from Arizona.

4 seds March 27, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Barbara Kingsolver is largely from Arizona

5 jason voorhees March 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Can Grand Canyon get an honorary mention? I think it’s technically set in Los Angeles, and maybe only the ending is in Arizona, but the Grand Canyon is metaphorically to represent something grande and larger than themselves.

And I am going to now spend the rest of the day trying not to think bad thoughts about you for what you said about ET.

6 Andrew March 27, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Just a nitpick-the Mingus album is actually “Mingus Ah Um.” The pun doesn’t work otherwise.

7 Drew March 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm

“Barbara Kingsolver is largely from Arizona”

Hands off! She grew up in Kentucky.

8 Christopher Monnier March 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm

E.T. has some weak points (e.g. the scene where the people in haz-mat suits walk like zombies into the house to remove the occupants), but it’s one of my favorite movies. Maybe for sentimental reasons…who knows. But thank you for mentioned Duel. That’s an awesome movie.

9 Anthony March 27, 2008 at 3:26 pm

9. Presidential Candidate: Barry Goldwater.

10 Russell L. Carter March 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Ah, I see from reading the reviews that the correct term is “NOT sonoran”. The food at Restaurant Mexico is NOT like you get in every chain and just about every mom & pop in the eastern 9/10s of the country.

I personally am addicted to the cheese enchiladas with tomatilla sauce, but it’s so ruthlessly simple a dish that its superiority is really hard to explain to seasoned chowhounds, until you taste it. But I do drive 200 miles round trip to eat them several times a year. (in a Prius)

11 NASCAR Wife March 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Los Dos Molinos is overrated. It is so hot, you can’t taste the
food. Must be good right? Ick!

Authors: Alan Dean Foster (Science Fiction) lives in Prescott.
Bill Keane (Family Comic strip) lived in Phoenix. Erma Bombeck
made her home in Phoenix. Todd McFarlane (Graphic Novelist) is
also from Phoenix. For books about Arizona, no one can beat
Marshall Trimble.

Country and Western – Dierks Bently is from Phoenix. Glen
Cambell makes his home in Phoenix. John Denver grew up in Tucson.
Waylon Jennings made his early start in Arizona. Sining cowboy
Rex Allen retire to Arizona.

Music – Gin Blossoms, Jimmy Eats World, The Refreshments.

I would have thought John Wayne, who owned a ranch in the White
Mountains would have made the list somewhere.

12 Jody March 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Edward Abbey (not Albee)

13 Noah Yetter March 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm

A.I., “brilliant”? You can’t be serious. One of the worst movies I’ve seen, ever, especially given the fabulous production values. It may have an interesting moral subtext but none of the actual events make any sense, and no I’m not referring to the much-lamented ending.

14 SheetWise March 27, 2008 at 5:24 pm

We’ve got some great dives here — try Honey Bears for BBQ, ribs, and sweet potato pie. Near ASU? Breakfast at Harlow’s Cafe, lunch or dinner at the Cornish Pasty Company.

If you want all the trappings, history and local color, dinner downtown at Durant’s.

15 Cliff March 27, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Can you rally credit Spielberg with AI? Didn’t Spielberg mostly ruin Kubrick’s story? How brilliant would AI have been if Kubrick was still alive… no way that would have been the ending.

16 Lord March 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm

How is the Phoenician standing up?

17 Robert Ayers March 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm

I’m also of the opinion that the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon is the single best sight I’ve seen, ever.
If you like that, then try hiking into the canyon from the North Rim. If you are not into backpacking and camping, just take a day and drop down a little ways. (Allow 4x the time to walk back up.)

18 Dave March 27, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Lynda Carter

19 Wugong March 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm

When everything from actors to budget is taken into account, “A.I.” is a strong candidate for the worst movie ever made. Steven Spielberg is an awful director of science fiction because he is basically hostile to science. He can’t do Philip K. Dick because he always misses what’s really important about the stories. If I could have the image of Jude Law clicking his head to the side erased from my mind, I would gladly do so, even if it took some other valuable memories with it.

20 Tom March 28, 2008 at 12:51 am

Toy Story was the movie A.I. tried (and failed) to be-seeing the banality, and finding meaning within it. Life is about recognizing it’s not what you’d like it to be, but finding meaning anyway.

I did like A.I.’s bizarro ending, though

21 six_string March 28, 2008 at 2:39 am

Best 50’s rock instrumentalist: Duane Eddy
Best jazz guitarist with a rock feel: Howard Roberts

22 Dave March 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

Nothing wrong with E.T….that is all.

23 Todd Fletcher March 28, 2008 at 11:55 am

Tyler, for Mexican food try El Nopalito, Thomas & 24th Street in central Phoenix. Often the waitresses there don’t speak english.

24 Ben Kalafut March 28, 2008 at 5:03 pm

No mention for Arizona educated, Arizona resident philosopher David Schmidtz?

25 Walter March 29, 2008 at 1:21 am

Country-folk-american-mexican indie rock band: Calexico.

The sound is better than my description.

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